The Wake Forest Police Department is asking for help in identifying and finding those responsible for placing the 911 calls in what they have labeled a swatting incident.
Swatting happens when someone makes a hoax call to 911 to draw a response from law enforcement, particularly a SWAT team.
In the first call received around 6 p.m., the caller told a 911 dispatcher he had his brother tied up and was going to shoot him. He threatened to shoot and kill any police officer who responded to the scene.
A second caller then claimed one of his brothers shot his other brother inside the house, and that the shooter had bombs.
All the while, inside the home in question in the 3100 block of Countryman Court, Carter was playing with her 3-year-old daughter and preparing dinner while they waited for her husband to return from work.
Her husband called when he pulled into the neighborhood and saw a SWAT team and dozens of police officers evacuating neighboring homes. Carter stayed on the phone with him while she grabbed their daughter and ran to a back bedroom closet to hide.
"I was trying to be like, this is just a game we're playing with dad at first but then I don't think -- I couldn't hide that I was scared, and she started crying too," Carter said.
After nearly a half hour of hiding in the closet, unaware of what the commotion was all about, Carter heard police calling to her over a loud speaker.
"Come out of the house. This is Wake Forest police," Carter imitated. "But they said it in a way that was like, ok, now it's safe for me to exit because whatever the danger was has been removed."
After evacuating everyone along Countryman Court and blocking surrounding streets in the Carriage Run neighborhood, police determined the shooting call was a hoax.
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"It is a crime," said Bill Crabtree, police spokesperson. "Some people call it a prank or a hoax, but it's a serious crime."
He said not only did the swatting incident create a risky and potentially dangerous situation for everyone involved, but pulled resources away from those who were perhaps experiencing a real emergency. Still, he said officers will never ignore a call for help.
"We have to respond the same way," he said. "We have to take every phone call, we have to assume that every phone call is legitimate."
Anyone with information on this case should call the police department at (919) 554-6150.
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